12 Step Prayer For Addiction Recovery And What They Mean

12 Step Prayer For Addiction Recovery And What They Mean

The famous ’12 steps’ of ‘Alcoholics Anonymous’ (commonly simply referred to as ‘AA’) have been the solution for incalculable thousands of people who have gained control over their yearning for alcohol and have found healing in their lives. Each of these 12 steps has a prayer attached to it, these prayers are deeply related and entwined with the steps.

The start for AA, and what separates their methods from the sort of treatment practiced in many clinics, is the idea that alcoholism is fundamentally a disease of the personality. People become addicts because they have addictive personalities. To treat alcoholism therefore requires an entirely different approach than would
be given to a normal disease of the body

The 12 steps of AA

 are a moral and spiritual response to the personality. The steps and the
prayers are as follows:

Step 1

We admitted we were weak with alcohol - that our lives had become unmanageable.

First Step Prayer

Dear Lord,

I admit that I am powerless over my addiction. I admit that my life is unmanageable when I try to control it. Help me this day to understand. The true meaning of powerlessness. Remove from me all denial of my addiction.

Step 2

We came to believe that a Power higher than ourselves could reintroduce us to regain our mental health.

Second Step Prayer

Heavenly Father, I know in my heart that only you can restore me to sanity. I humbly ask that you remove all twisted thought & addictive behavior from me this day. Heal my spirit & restore in me a clear mind.

Step 3

We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understand Him.

Third Step Prayer


I offer myself to Thee, to build with me & to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will.
Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness. To those I would help of Thy Power, thy love & Thy way of life. May I do Thy will always!

Step 4

We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

Fourth Step Prayer

Dear God,

It is I who has made my life a mess. I have done it, but I cannot undo it. My mistakes are mine & I will begin a searching & fearless moral inventory. I will write down my wrongs, but I will also include that which is good. I pray for the strength to complete the task.

Step 5

We were totally ready to have God clear all these shortcomings of character.

Fifth Step Prayer

Higher Power,

My inventory has shown me who I am, yet I ask for Your help. In admitting my wrongs to another person & to You. Assure me, & be with me, in this Step, for without this Step I cannot progress in my recovery. With Your help, I can do this, & I do it

Step 6

We were totally ready to have God clear all these shortcomings of character.

Sixth Step Prayer

Dear God,

I am ready for Your help, in removing from me the defects of character. Which I now realize are an obstacle to my recovery. Help me to continue being honest with myself & guide me toward spiritual & mental health.

Step 7

We humbly call Him to remove our shortcomings.

Seventh Step Prayer

My Creator,

I am now willing that you should have all of me, good & bad. I pray that you now remove from me every single defect of character which stands in the way of my usefulness to you & my fellows. Grant me strength, as I go out from here to do your bidding.

Step 8

We made a list of all persons we had burnt, and became willing to make amends to them all.

Eighth Step Prayer

Higher Power,

I ask Your help in making my list of all those I have harmed. I will take responsibility for my mistakes & be forgiving to others as You are forgiving to me. Grant me the willingness to begin my restitution. This I pray.

Step 9

We made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or othersTo

Ninth Step Prayer

Higher Power,

I pray for the right attitude to make my amends, being ever mindful not to harm others in the process. I ask for Your guidance in making indirect amends. Most important, I will continue to make amends by staying abstinent, helping others & growing in spiritual progress.

Step 10

We continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly.

Tenth Step Prayer

I pray I may continue:

To grow in understanding & effectiveness; To take daily spot check inventories of myself; To correct mistakes when I make them; To take responsibility for my actions; To be ever aware of my negative & Self-defeating attitudes & behaviors; To keep my willfulness in check; To always remember I need Your help; To keep love & tolerance of others as my code; & To continue in daily prayer how I can best serve with my Higher Power.

Step 11

We aspire through prayer and meditation to enhance our conscious contact with God, as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the capability to.

Eleventh Step Prayer

Higher Power, as I understand You, I pray to keep my connection with You, open & clear from the confusion of daily life. Through my prayers & meditation I ask especially for freedom from self-will, rationalization, & wishful thinking. I pray for the guidance of correct thought & positive action. Your will Higher Power, not mine, be done.

Step 12

Having had a spiritual awakening as the conclusion of these steps, we attempt to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Twelfth Step Prayer

Dear God,

My spiritual awakening continues to unfold.The help I have received I shall pass on & give to others, both in & out of the Fellowship. For this opportunity I am grateful. I pray most humbly to continue walking day by day, on the road of spiritual progress.I pray for the inner strength & wisdom. To practice the principles of this way of life in all I do & say. I need You, my friends, & the program every hour of every day. This is a better way to live

Since its conception in the 1930s Alcoholics Anonymous has become synonymous with recovery. Over the years, their 12 step process has been applied to wide variety of problems from drugs (Narcotics Anonymous) to overeating (Over-eaters Anonymous) to excessive gaming (Online Gamers Anonymous).
Since imitation is the best form of flattery, it would seem that AA’s 12 steps must be somewhat useful. But how do the steps promote sobriety? The steps can be generally broken down into three broad groups, each with its own function. These steps are designed to be taken in order with the help of a qualified sponsor. The idea is that, as someone proceeds through the steps he or she will gradually add pieces to the puzzle of sobriety.

Finding A Higher Power

The first three steps are designed to help a member recognize that they are not the most powerful force in the universe. They will be asked to first understand that their life has become unmanageable and that they are powerless over alcohol. Next they will understand how this other power could restore them to sanity. Finally, the member turns himself over to this newly found “higher power”.

Cleaning House

Steps four through nine are considered the “action” steps. When a member gets to this point he will address his trespasses from the past and try to make them right and mend damaged relationships.

He will begin by writing a moral inventory then sharing the details with a sponsor. With his list in mind, he will ask his higher power to remove all of the newly uncovered character defects. Next, he will try to fix relationships by making a list of everyone he has wronged through the years. Then he will make a formal amends to each person on the list.

Misconception About Alcoholics Anonymous

According to AA, it is NOT a drinking cessation program. New members are expected to stop drinking on their own (at least for long enough to go to a meeting). AA then takes over and helps that newly dry member to continue their sobriety.
A more important function of AA is to help members grow emotionally and spiritually, gradually becoming the best possible version of their original selves.
Alcoholics Anonymous promotes sobriety by sharing experience, strength and hope with alcoholics everywhere. The organization has no “rules” only steps and traditions. No one is told what they “must” do. Members are simply given suggestions (to be followed or ignored as they see fit) from other members with experience in staying sober. This seems to be the key to AA, and their 12 Steps, and it’s ability to promote long-term sobriety.

As suggested above, not every alcohol treatment program approves the 12 steps. Some in the medical profession are unconvinced to a spiritual approach to treatment, while some more spiritual rehabilitation programs abandon one or two of the steps, as some reject the idea that the alcoholic can never be cured of alcoholism.

Even so, one is tempted to say, ‘a million non-drinking alcoholics can’t be wrong’. The millions of persons who have found healing and hope through the 12 steps certainly testifies to their significance.

The twelve-step program has been expanded to also work for drug abusers, food abusers and people with relationship issues. These are Narcotics Anonymous (NA), Overeaters Anonymous, Co-Dependents Anonymous, Emotions Anonymous and Sexual Compulsive Anonymous etc. There are approximately 50 different groups. AA has also expanded into helping the people who live with the abuser. For instance there is now Al-anon which is for the people who live with an alcoholic.

There are also the Twelve Traditions. These are guidelines for the group governance of AA and help resolve conflicts regarding issues with publicity, religion, and finances. Their common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon AA unity. The only requirement for AA membership is a desire to stop drinking.

Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or AA as a whole. Each group has but one primary purpose-to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers.

An AA group ought never endorse, finance, or lend the AA name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property, and prestige divert us from our primary purpose. Every AA group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.

Alcoholics Anonymous should remain forever non-professional, but our service centers may employ special workers.

AA, as such, ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve. Alcoholics Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the AA name ought never be drawn into public controversy.Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, and films. Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.